CHICAGO, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Lori Lightfoot took office as Chicago mayor Monday, becoming the first black woman and the first openly gay person to hold the office in the U.S. city's history.
Lightfoot, who was inaugurated at Chicago's Wintrust Arena with her wife and daughter at her side, addressed the city's violence problem in her inaugural speech.
"People cannot - and should not - live in neighborhoods that resemble a war zone," she said, "Enough of the shootings. Enough of the guns. Enough of the violence."
Lightfoot said she has "no higher calling" than restoring safety and peace in Chicago's neighborhoods.
According to data collected by Chicago Tribune, Chicago police report there were 561 homicides in the city last year -- 100 fewer than in 2017, but still more than the total number of homicides in New York and Los Angeles combined.
Lightfoot vowed to develop a new proactive strategy to fight crime in neighborhoods hit hardest by gun violence. She said the new office of public safety would be led by a deputy mayor charged with coordinating a unified violence prevention strategy that brings in not only police but also city government, schools, non-profits, businesses, and the faith community.
"We will also continue the hard but essential work of forging partnerships between police officers and the community premised on mutual respect, accountability and a recognition that the destinies of police and community are inextricably intertwined," she said in prepared remarks Monday. "One simply cannot succeed without the other."
Born in 1962, Lightfoot had been president of the Chicago Police Board before announcing candidacy for mayor of Chicago in the 2019 elections on May 10, 2018.